Olympic Marseille have told Chelsea they must pay £26.7m if they wish to sign Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.
Chelsea had an £18m offer turned down but negotiations are continuing.
Marseille coach Jose Anigo said: “Drogba is still a long way away from Chelsea and I’m expecting him to report to our training camp on 26 July.”
“If Chelsea fall in line with our president Christophe Bouchet’s asking price, then we shall resign ourselves to letting Didier go.”
“There are some offers that you can’t refuse. ”
And Bouchet said: “Negotiations have begun between Chelsea representatives and our general manager Pape Diouf.”
“But we felt their offer of £18m was insufficient and I refused.”
“But the situation is extremely complex and it’s a real balancing act not only on the human side but also because of our financial state that has to be taken into account as well.”
New Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is known to be an admirer of the forward.
“I see the qualities of power and speed,” said Mourinho.
“Also his control on the first touch and the way he fights – he’s a player who can achieve great success.”